- Generally cooler wetter conditions
- Reduce irrigation for cooler wetter conditions
- Heating and frost control systems maintenance to prepare for winter
- Monitor crops closely for diseases encouraged by wetter conditions
- Reduce summer shading on covered crops
- Weed control to reduce potential spring weed populations
Biological Control of Plant Diseases
The use of biological controls is one of the management options that can be used in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) pro-gramme.
Disease suppressive organisms can be either fungi or bacteria, with the modes of action for the different types of biological control organ-isms falling into the following categories:
- Parasites of plant pathogens
- Antibiotic effects
- Direct competition for food or space
- Plant growth promoters
- Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) – plants develop resistance to pathogens.
Many of these products work best when ap-plied preventatively, and at frequent intervals. The products shouldn’t be applied with chemi-cal fungicides and the use of chlorinated water may not be recommended. One of the ad-vantages of using these organisms is the low toxicity to non-target organisms, but care still needs to be taken in the handling and use of the products as many are carried on dusts which may be hazardous to users.
For these organisms to work effectively the correct formulation must be used and timing of applications is critical. Conditions such as temperature fluctuations, optimum humidity, leaf wetness, root zone moisture content, air movement, gases and nutrient levels need to be managed carefully to maximise the establishment of the applied organism.
More information – “Biological controls for diseases of nursery plants” 2002/14 Nursery Paper, available from the NGIA Nursery Papers web page.
Printable PDF available HERE.
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